Cicero : Pro rege Deiotaro

This speech was delivered for king Deiotarus, in 45 B.C.

The translation is by N.H. Watts (1931). Click on the L symbols to go to the Latin text of each section. Click on ** to go to the translator's footnotes.

[1.] L   [1] Though in all cases of more than ordinary importance, Gaius Caesar, I am, when beginning to speak, usually more deeply moved than either my experience or my years would seem to warrant, in the present case I am harassed by so many considerations, that, in my task of upholding the interests of King Deiotarus, whatever readiness of speech I gain from my enthusiasm is counterbalanced by my fears. In the first place, I am pleading for the status and well-being of a king ; and though the fact that his status should be endangered is not in itself unreasonable where danger to yourself is involved, it is none the less so extraordinary for a king to be standing trial for his life, as to be a situation unparalleled in history. [2] In the second place, the king whom I am to-day called upon to defend against a shocking charge is one whom in the past, in conjunction with the whole Senate, I have repeatedly honoured for an unbroken series of services to our commonwealth. Add to this the fact that I am embarrassed by the brutality of one of the two accusers and by the unworthiness of the other. ** How brutal - not to say criminal and unnatural - is Castor, who has imperilled the life of his grandfather and levelled the threats of youthful bravado against one whose declining years he should have shielded and protected, who has sought by unnatural criminality to recommend his dawning manhood, and who has impelled his grandfather's misguided slave by bribes to accuse his master, having first lured him from the service of the ambassadors ** ! [3] When I saw the brazen countenance and listened to the words of a runaway slave accusing his master - a master too who was absent, and who moreover was deeply attached to your commonwealth - I felt not so much grief for the king's downcast condition as anxiety for the general well being. For while, according to the practice of our ancestors, it is illegal to seek evidence from a slave against his master ** even under torture - a form of inquiry in which pain can draw truth even from the reluctant - a slave has been found ready, though unconstrained by bonds, to accuse one against whom he could not lay information upon the rack.

[2.] L   [4] There is a further fact, Gaius Caesar, which from time to time disturbs me, but which, whenever I reflect deeply upon your character, ceases to move my fear; in reality it is unfavourable, but your wisdom makes it most favourable. For to plead in regard to a crime before the very man against whose life you are charged with plotting that crime is, if considered by itself, a formidable task, for there is scarcely anyone who can sit in judgement upon a threat to his own life and not favour himself at the expense of the accused ; but your unique and surpassing qualities, Caesar, lessen any such fear on my part. For I am not so much afraid of what will be your verdict on Deiotarus as I am conscious of what verdict you would have others pass upon yourself. [5] The unusual setting ** of this trial, too, is not without its effect upon me: a case of graver import than any that have ever come under discussion is being pleaded by me within the walls of a private dwelling, pleaded in private session and aloof from the thronging audience wherein the enthusiasm of the orator commonly finds its support ; under your eyes and in your features I find my repose ; you are all I have to look to; my every word has regard to none save you ; the same circumstances which afford me the strongest hope of establishing the truth, are less adapted to move the emotions and to rouse the fire and fervour of eloquence. [6] Were I pleading this case in the forum, Gaius Caesar, albeit with you to hear and you to weigh my words, with what enthusiasm would the assembled people of Rome inspire me! What citizen would not feel kindly towards a king, remembering that his whole life had been devoted to waging the wars of the Roman people! I should have the Senate-house in my view, the forum beneath my gaze, and heaven itself would stand arbiter above. In such surroundings, recalling the kindnesses of the immortal gods and of the people and Senate of Rome to King Deiotarus, it would be impossible for my speech to falter. [7] But since my powers are cribbed and restricted within these walls, and since my advocacy in this most important cause is crippled by its environment, it is for you, Caesar, who have spoken in defence of so many, to judge of my present feelings by your own, that so your careful attention, as well as your impartiality, may the better mitigate this my embarrassment.

But before I speak about the accusation itself, I will say a few words about the hopes of the accusers, who, though to all appearances without qualifications of talent, experience, and practice, cannot have entered upon this case without some hope or some reflection. [3.] L   [8] Your displeasure with King Deiotarus was not lost upon them ; they remembered that your irritation had involved him in some measure of loss ** and inconvenience ; they knew that you were offended with him, and at the same time well-disposed to themselves ; and, speaking as they would be in your presence upon a danger that threatened you, they imagined that a fictitious charge would find a ready lodgement in an inflamed mind. By your honour, consistency, and clemency, therefore, Caesar, free us from this fear first, that we may have no misgivings that any particle of resentment lingers in your heart. I ask it by the right hand of hospitality which you have extended to King Deiotarus, as you have grasped his in return, a right hand no less steadfast in promises and pledges than in wars and encounters. You deigned to enter his house and to renew the ancient bond subsisting between you ; you were welcomed by his household gods ; it was as a friend whose anger was appeased that the altars and hearths of King Deiotarus saw you. [9] Not only are you accessible to prayers, Caesar, but once you have granted a prayer the matter is at an end. No enemy has ever won his way to your good graces and found that any embers of animosity yet smouldered within you. And yet who is there who is unacquainted with your grievances against Deiotarus? Never did you accuse him as a foe, but as a friend who had failed in his duty, on the ground that he had leant more to the friendship of Gnaeus Pompeius than to your own ; and yet even this offence you declared that you would have overlooked had he merely sent aid to Pompeius, or even had he sent his son and himself pleaded advanced years in excuse. [10] In this way, while acquitting him of the main ground of offence, you left only some slight imputation against him on the score of private friendship. Accordingly, not merely did you not punish him, but you freed him from all apprehension, recognised him as your host, and left him a king. Indeed his proceedings were not due to hatred of you ; he did but share the universal delusion. A king whom the Senate had often addressed as such in complimentary decrees, and who from his youth had always deemed that body a model of dignity and honour, was utterly confused - a foreigner in a far-off country - by the same events which affected us who were born and had ever lived at the heart of the commonwealth. [4.] L   [11] Hearing that with the official countenance of a unanimous Senate recourse had been had to arms, and that to the consuls, the praetors, the tribunes of the plebs, and to us generals ** the defence of the state had been assigned, he was profoundly stirred, and, as a close friend of this empire, feared for the welfare of the Roman people with which he realised that his own was involved. Still, deeply apprehensive as he was, he thought it best to remain inactive. But his perturbation reached its height when he learned that the consuls and all the ex-consuls had fled from Italy (for such was the intelligence he received), and that the whole Senate and all Italy were scattered to the four winds. The road to the East was open to such messages and rumours, and they were not followed up by any true intelligence. He heard nothing of your terms, nothing of your efforts towards harmony and peace, nothing of the conspiracy against your authority formed by certain persons. ** In spite of all this he held his hand until delegates and dispatches came to him from Gnaeus Pompeius. [12] Pardon him, pardon him, Caesar, if King Deiotarus bowed to the eminence of a man whom we all followed, upon whom all distinctions had been showered by gods and men, and by none more and greater than by yourself. For, if your achievements have cast into the shade the glories of all the world beside, we have not for that reason forgotten the name of Gnaeus Pompeius. Of the greatness of his name, of his wealth, of his renown in every kind of warfare, of the honours he received from the Roman people, the Senate, and yourself, who is ignorant? He had surpassed his predecessors in renown as far as you have excelled all men. So we numbered with admiration the wars, victories, triumphs, consulates of Gnaeus Pompeius : yours we cannot number. [5.] L   [13] In this deplorable and ill-starred war, then, King Deiotarus came to one whom he had erstwhile aided in legitimate wars against a foreign foe, one with whom he was linked by the bond not of hospitality alone but of intimacy ; he came at the request of a friend or, if you will, at the summons of an ally, or at the bidding of a Senate whom he had learnt to obey ; last of all, he came as to a fugitive, not as to a pursuer, to participation, that is to say, in peril and not in triumph. So after the battle of Pharsalus he renounced Pompeius; he would not follow to the bitter end a hope to which he saw no issue ; he felt that he had satisfied the claims of duty, if duty he had owed, or of delusion, if deluded he had been ; he betook himself homewards, and while you were waging the Alexandrian war ** he furthered your interests. [14] He it was who aided with shelter and supplies the army of the brave Gnaeus Domitius ; he sent funds to Ephesus to one whom you selected as the most loyal and respected out of all your adherents ** ; he it was who, after holding two, nay three, auctions, contributed to your war funds; he it was who exposed his person to peril, fought at your side in the field against Pharnaces, and deemed your enemy his own. And such, Caesar, was the spirit in which you accepted these services that you conferred upon him the proud honour and title of King.

[15] This man, then, who was not merely freed by you from peril but advanced to the highest dignity, is accused of having desired to murder you in his house ; a suspicion which, unless you deem him an utter madman, you assuredly cannot entertain. For, not to mention the monstrous wickedness of slaying a guest in the sight of the household gods, the utter insensibility of extinguishing the fairest light of all nations and all history, the gross brutality of feeling no reverence for the vanquisher of the world, and the inhumanity and ingratitude of behaving like a tyrant towards one by whom he had been entitled King - not to mention, I say, any of this, what sheer lunacy did it argue that he should rouse against his single self all kings, many of whom were his neighbours, all free peoples, all the allies, all the provinces, in a word all the arms of all the world! How he would have been torn in pieces along with his realm, his house, his wife, and his beloved son, had he I will not say committed, but 80 much as dreamed of so dire a crime! [6.] L   [16] Perhaps I shall be told that he was so blind, so hot-headed, that he failed to see this. Nay, but who was more circumspect than he ? who more guarded ? who more sagacious ? although in this place I think that it is not so much in his intelligence or in his wisdom as in his loyalty and conscientiousness that Deiotarus should find his defence. You know his uprightness, Gaius Caesar, you know his character, you know his steadfastness of purpose. Nay, who indeed, who has but heard the name of the Roman people, has not heard of the incorruptibility, the dignity, the courage, the loyalty, of Deiotarus ? Do you ** then pretend that a crime such as any blind fool must be deemed incapable of committing through fear of immediate ruin, or any villain unless he was at the same time demented, was devised by one of the best of men who was very far removed from an idiot? [17] But how far is your allegation not merely from carrying conviction, but even from arousing suspicion! "When," says the prosecutor, "you had arrived at the fort at Blucium and had taken up your abode in the house of your royal host, there was an apartment in which had been arranged the gifts which the king had decided to present to you. Hither he would fain have conducted you from the bath before you took your place at table ; for in that very apartment there were armed men posted to slay you." Here we have the charge, here the ground which has induced a runaway to arraign his king, a slave his lord. Upon my word, Gaius Caesar, when first I was asked to undertake this case the suspicion that struck me was this: "Our young friend ** has suborned Phidippus the physician, a slave of the king who had been sent with the delegates ; he has bribed the physician to give evidence ; he will no doubt trump up some charge of poisoning." My conjecture, although it was a good distance from the truth, was not far wrong as regards the common practice of accusers. What says the physician? [18] Not a word of poison. But in the first place this might have been dropped into his drink or food with less chance of detection; in the second place, with even less danger of punishment, because when it is done it can be denied. Had he slain you openly, he would have turned against himself not only the hate but also the arms of all nations; had he done the deed by poison, he would indeed never have been able to conceal the act from Jupiter the patron of hospitality, but from his fellow-men he might perhaps have concealed it. A scheme, then, which he might have attempted more secretly and carried out more covertly he never confided to you, ** an expert physician and, as he thought, a faithful slave; and yet he did not wish to conceal from you a conspiracy of armed violence. [19] A prettily concocted charge indeed! "You ** were saved," says he, "by the good luck which invariably attends you; you said you would not inspect the presents just then." [7.] L   And what of the sequel? Did King Deiotarus, baulked for the moment, straightway disband his forces ? ** Was there no other place where he could post an ambush? But you? had said that you would return thither when you had dined ; and so you did. Would it have been so difficult to retain the armed men in their original place of concealment for an hour or two? After behaving affably and pleasantly at table you went there, as you had said you would ; and there you found that Deiotarus treated you exactly as King Attalus ** treated Publius Africanus, to whom, as history tells us, he sent magnificent presents all the way from Asia to Numantia, and Africanus accepted them in full view of his troops. When Deiotarus in person had shown this regal temper and behaviour, you retired to rest. [20] I beg of you, Caesar, to recall the occasion ; conjure up the memory of that day; recollect the admiring eyes that gazed upon you. Was any sign of excitement or disorder betrayed? Was there aught save decorum and repose, aught out of keeping with the habits of a grave and upright man? Can any motive be conceived that can have tempted him to murder you after your bath, but made him disinclined to do so after your dinner? [21] "He deferred the business," says our friend, "until the following day; he intended to await your arrival at the fort of Blucium, and there put his plan into execution." I fail to see any motive for this change of place, but all the same the circumstances are suspicious. ** When, so we are told, you expressed a desire to vomit ** after dinner, they proceeded to conduct you to the bathroom ; for there the ambush was posted. But your "good luck" once again preserved you ; you said you preferred to retire to your apartment. Perdition seize you, Master Runaway! not content with being a worthless scoundrel, you must also be a drivelling idiot! They were brazen statues he had posted in ambush, were they, and it was quite out of the question to transfer them from the bathroom to the bedroom ?

Here then you have the charge as to the ambush ; for this was all he said. "To all this," says he, "I was privy." What do you mean? That Deiotarus was lunatic enough to allow one whom he had made privy to a heinous crime to pass out of his control? Nay, that he actually sent him to Rome, where he knew was the grandson who so bitterly hated him, and Gaius Caesar against whom he had plotted ? and that too when this fellow was the one man alive who could lay an information against him behind his back? '[22] "Yes, and he threw my brothers into prison," says he, "because they also were privy." So then he imprisoned the men whom he had with him, while you, who possessed the same knowledge as you allege that they possessed, he allowed to go unconstrained to Rome !

[8.] L   The remainder of the accusation fell under two heads: one, that the king was always on the look-out, ** since he was ill-disposed towards you ; the other, that he raised a large army against you. With the army I will deal as briefly as with my other heads. King Deiotarus never had forces sufficient to make an attack upon the Roman people, but only to protect his territories against raids and brigandage and to send assistance to our generals. Then, too, while previously he could maintain larger forces, now he can scarce support his mere handful. [23] "Oh, but he sent forces to someone or other called Caecilius, ** but threw those whom he sent into prison, because they wouldn't go." I do not ask how likely it is either that the king had troops to send, or that those whom he sent disobeyed him, or that those who showed insubordination in so grave a matter were imprisoned rather than put to death. Still, when he sent to Caecilius, was he unaware that the Pompeian cause was lost, or did he think that this Caecilius was a great man? Why, surely, with his excellent knowledge of our countrymen, Deiotarus would have thought little of Caecilius, either because he did not know him or if he had known him. [24] The prosecutor adds a further charge - that the cavalry Deiotarus sent to Caesar were of poor quality. I can well believe, Caesar, that they were nothing compared with your cavalry ; but he sent the very pick of those at his disposal. He alleges that some member of the force was convicted of being a slave. ** I do not think so; I have heard nothing of it; but even had it been so, I should not consider that the king was at all to blame in the matter.

[9.] L   And his "ill-disposition" towards you - how did he show that? I gather that he hoped that the situation of Alexandria ** and its river would make it difficult for you to extricate yourself from that town. But at that very time he gave you funds and maintained an army of yours ; he did all he could to help your lieutenant in charge of Asia; after your victory he not only offered you hospitality but risked personal service in the field. [25] There followed the war in Africa. There were grave rumours about you - the same that roused that madman Caecilius. What was the king's disposition at that time, seeing that he put his goods up to auction and preferred to despoil himself rather than fail to furnish you with funds? But it is alleged that at that very time he was sending men to Nicaea and Ephesus to pick up rumours from Africa and report them promptly to him. Accordingly when he received intelligence that Domitius had perished in a shipwreck, while you were closely besieged in a fortress, he quoted with reference to Domitius a line of Greek poetry to the same effect as one we have in Latin:

  Perish our friends, so foes may die withal ! **

But he never would have quoted such a line, even while the line is barbarous. And how could he have been a friend to Domitius, when he was a foe to you? And, furthermore, why should he have been a foe to you, when you might, by the rights of war, have had him put to death, and when, as he must have remembered, both himself and his son had been established as kings by you?

[26] And what next? What is the next assertion of this gallows-bird? He says that Deiotarus, elated by the glee which this news inspired, fuddled himself with wine and danced naked at a banquet. Can the cross inflict adequate torture upon this runaway ? Has anyone ever seen Deiotarus either drunk or dancing? This king is an exemplar of all the virtues, as I think you, Caesar, know well enough ; but in nothing is he more remarkable and more admirable than in his sobriety **; although I know that kings are not commonly praised in such terms. To be called a sober person does not convey much commendation to a king. Bravery, justice, earnestness, dignity, magnanimity, liberality, kindliness, generosity - these are the qualities we commend in a king ; sobriety in a subject. Everyone is free to put what construction he pleases upon my words ; none the less I pronounce sobriety, by which I mean moderation and temperance, to be the highest of virtues. His possession of this virtue from his earliest youth was recognised and attested not only by the whole of Asia and by our magistrates and ambassadors, but also by the Roman knights who carried on business in Asia. [27] It is true that by a long series of services to our state he has reached the title of royalty ; but none the less such leisure as he could spare from fighting the wars of the Roman people he filled with such friendly intercourse and such commercial transactions with our fellow-countrymen as won for him the reputation not only of a distinguished tetrarch, ** but of an excellent family-man, and an industrious farmer and stock-raiser. As a youth, not yet crowned with the laurels which he was later to win, his every act was exemplary in gravity and dignity; and did he, with his reputation and at his years, dance ?

[10.] L   [28] It would have been more becoming in you, Castor, to model yourself upon the character and principles of your grandfather than to malign a good and noble man through the lips of a runaway. But even had you possessed a grandfather who was a dancer, instead of a man to whom one might look for an ideal of honour and propriety, even so such slanders would be ill applied to a man of his years. The pursuits to which he had trained himself from youth up - not dancing, but skill as a man-at-arms and proficiency in horsemanship - these had now in the evening of his days all passed from him. So, though it took more than one man to lift Deiotarus into the saddle, we used to wonder that a man of his years could keep so firm a seat there. But this youth, who served in my army in Cilicia ** and was my fellow-soldier in Greece ** - what a fuss he would make, prancing amid our troops at the head of the picked cavalry whom his father had sent with him to help Pompeius! How big were his words, how insolent his bearing, yielding to none in zeal and ardour for the cause! [29] But when the army had been lost, and when I, who always gave my voice for peace, had urged after the battle of Pharsalus that arms should be not laid down but cast away, l was unable to convert him to my views, for not only was he on fire with zeal for the war, but considered that he must satisfy his father's claims upon him. Happy indeed is your house, which has won not merely impunity but even unrestrained licence in impeachment; and unhappy is Deiotarus your victim, for he is impeached by one who served under the same banner, impeached too not only in your presence, Caesar, but by his own flesh and blood. Can you and your associates, Castor, not rest content in your prosperity? Must you also involve your kinsmen in ruin?

[11.] L   [30] Grant that these feuds existed - they had no business to exist, for it was King Deiotarus who called your family into the light when it lay in the darkness of despised obscurity ; who had ever heard who your father was until he became some one's son-in-law ? - still, however ungratefully and unnaturally you repudiated the title of kinship, you might yet have carried on your feuds like gentlemen, instead of dogging him with a trumped-up charge, thirsting for his life-blood, and arraigning him on a capital offence. Well, let us even allow that you are justified in carrying your acrimony and hatred to this unconscionable length ; can we extend your licence to the violation of every law of life, of general well-being, and even of humanity? To unsettle by your suggestions the loyalty of a slave, to seduce him by promises and expectations, to inveigle him to your home, to arm him against his master - this is to declare an unholy war not against a single kinsman but against every household. For if your corruption of a slave should not merely pass unpunished, but should have the seal of approbation set upon it in so high a quarter, no walls, no laws, no privileges will guard our security.

For when the chattel that sits at our hearth can swagger abroad at will and do battle against us, then servitude rises to mastery, and mastery sinks to servitude. [31] Times have indeed changed, and manners with them! When the great Gnaeus Domitius, ** whom our boyhood's days saw as consul, censor, and pontifex maximus, had as tribune of the plebs summoned Marcus Scaurus, the leading citizen of his time, before a popular court, and when a slave of Scaurus had come secretly to his house offering to lay charges against his master, Domitius ordered the fellow to be arrested and haled before Scaurus. I do wrong to compare Castor with Domitius, but mark the difference : he sent back the slave to his enemy, you seduced him from your grandfather; he would not listen to an unbribed slave, you bribed him ; he spurned the aid of a slave against his master, you actually employed him as accuser. [32] Oh but he was only once bribed by you. But after he had been brought forward and had been in your company, did he not escape back to the ambassadors? Did he not betake himself to Gnaeus Domitius ** here? Did he not, in the hearing of the renowned Servius Sulpicius, ** who happened to be dining with Domitius at the time, and of my excellent young friend here Titus Torquatus, admit that he had been bribed by you, and by your promises driven to evil courses? [12.] L   What headstrong, what pitiless, what unbridled barbarity is this you display ! Is it for this that you have visited our city ? - to subvert that city's laws and traditions and to contaminate the amenities of our society by the monstrous perversion of domestic intercourse? [33] But how astutely has he raked together his charges! "Blesamius," ** he says - for it was under the name of this excellent man, with whom, Caesar, you are not unacquainted, that he proceeded to slander you, - "was in the habit of writing to the king, saying that you were under a cloud, that you were looked upon as a tyrant, that public feeling had been gravely affronted by the placing of your statue among those of the kings, and that no applause greeted you." Do you not realise, Caesar, that these fellows have gleaned these statements from the evil insinuations of street-corner gossipers? Blesamius to write of Caesar as a tyrant! Yes, for he had seen the heads of many citizens, ** many by Caesar's orders persecuted, scourged, done to death; many homes devastated and overthrown; the forum packed with armed soldiery. What we have always experienced in the victories of civil warfare, we did not see when you were victor. [34] Yes, you, Gaius Caesar, are the only conqueror in whose hour of triumph none save combatants have fallen. We, free men born in freedom's fairest clime, so far from finding you a tyrant, have seen in you a leader of unbounded mercy in the day of victory; and can Blesamius, the subject of a despot, deem you a tyrant? For as to the statue, who complains of that - one statue when he sees so many ? Fine reason, indeed, to resent the statues of one whose trophies we have not resented! For if it is the position of the statue that arouses resentment, there is no place for a statue more splendid than the rostra. ** And as to the applause, what answer shall I make? To win applause was at no time your aim, and sometimes it has been silenced because sheer wonder struck men dumb, or perhaps omitted because nothing commonplace seems worthy of you.

[13.] L   [35] There is no point, I think, that I have passed over, but there is something that I have reserved for the end of my speech. The object of this "something" is that my words may completely reconcile you with Deiotarus. Not that I fear any longer that you cherish a grievance against him ; I rather fear lest you should suspect that he cherishes some grievance against you. But believe me, Caesar, nothing is farther from the truth. He remembers what you have helped him to retain, not what you have helped him to lose; he does not consider that you have inflicted a penalty on him, but, since you thought that there was much that you must bestow on many of your supporters, he has not objected to your taking it from him who was your opponent. [36] Antiochus the Great, king of Asia, when after his defeat ** at the hands of Lucius Scipio he was compelled to recognise the Taurus as the limit of his realm, and had forfeited all that territory which is to-day our province of Asia, commonly asserted that he had been kindly treated by the Roman people, in that he had been released from a too extensive jurisdiction and his kingdom reduced to reasonable proportions. Deiotarus has far better reason to console himself than had he; for Antiochus had borne the penalty of madness, Deiotarus of a mistake. Full payment, Caesar, was made by you to Deiotarus, when you allowed the kingly title to himself and to his son. That title maintained and assured to him, he thinks that the kindness of the Roman people and the opinion held of him by the Senate has been no whit diminished. Proud and erect of heart he stands, nor shall he ever bow to his foes - no, nor yet to fortune. [37] He deems himself to have earned by his past actions and to hold by his valorous spirit many possessions that can never be taken from him. What vicissitude, what stroke of fate, what outrage, can avail to cancel the decrees of all our generals about Deiotarus? He has been complimented by all who, since he was of an age to serve in the field, have waged our wars in Asia, Cappadocia, Pontus, Cilicia, Syria; and as for the numerous laudatory pronouncements of the Senate upon him which are vouched for by the records and memorials of the Roman people, what lapse of time shall ever efface those, or what oblivion shall be so great as to cancel them ? And what shall I say of his valour, his magnanimity, his steadfastness, and his fortitude ? These qualities have by all wise men and philosophers been asserted to be the highest, and by some to be the only valid possessions ; it has been said that, possessing these, virtue possesses all that is requisite for the good, nay, for the happy life. [38] Amid such reflections, dwelling day and night upon these thoughts, so far is he from cherishing a grievance against you - for he would be ungrateful and even mad to do so - that he attributes to your clemency all the tranquillity and repose that his declining years enjoy. [14.] L   Such were his previous feelings ; and I doubt not that, as a result of the letter, a copy of which I have read, which you gave to Blesamius here at Tarraco to deliver to him, he has become still further reassured and freed from all anxiety. In that letter you bid him take comfort and be of good hope; and I know that not idly did you write those words. For I recollect that it was in very similar words you wrote to me, and that in your letter I was urged, and not in vain, "to be of good hope." [39] For my own part, I am deeply concerned for King Deiotarus ; public life has bound me to him in friendship, mutual regard in hospitality, intercourse in intimacy ; while his great services to me and to my army ** have riveted me to him by the closest of ties ; but with all my anxiety for him, my anxiety extends also to many distinguished men whose pardon received at your hands should be final, and who should feel no uncertainty about your bounty ; it is not right that apprehension should linger everlastingly in the minds of men, nor that any should begin to fear you of those whom you have once for all freed from fear.

[40] It would be wrong of me, Gaius Caesar, to do what is commonly done at such anxious moments as this - to essay by what arts of oratory I may work upon your compassion - wrong, and unnecessary, for compassion of her own free will, unsolicited by the eloquence of any, comes to meet the stricken suppliant. Do but picture to yourself these two kings, ** contemplate in your imagination what you cannot contemplate with your eyes; and assuredly you will concede to your compassion what you did not concede to your wrath. Many are the memorials of your clemency, but none greater than the amnesty you have accorded to those who owe their lives to you. If such bestowals are glorious when granted to subjects, far more highly will they be extolled when kings are their recipients. Ever has the name of king been hallowed in our society ** ; most hallowed that of kings who are our allies and friends. [15.] L   [41] Of that name these kings feared that your victory might rob them ; but I trust that you have maintained and confirmed it to them that they may hand it on to their posterity. We have here royal delegates who surrender their persons to you on behalf of the safety of their kings, Hieras, Blesamius, and Antigonus, men long known to you and to us all ; while Dorylaus, their peer in honour and merit, was lately sent to you with Hieras upon a mission. All these are not only close friends of the kings, but have also, I trust, deserved of your approval. [42] Ask of Blesamius whether he has written to the king a word in disparagement of your dignity. Hieras bears the whole burden of the case, and stands at the bar to answer these charges as substitute for his king. He appeals to your memory which is excellent; he says that he never stirred a foot's length from you while you were in Deiotarus's tetrarchy ; that he joined you on the one frontier and escorted you all the way to the other; that he was with you when you came from the bath, when you inspected those gifts after dinner, and when you lay down in your chamber ; and that on the following day he waited upon you with no less assiduity. [43] Wherefore if any of the plots which are the subject of this charge has been contemplated, he does not object that you should judge the crime as his own. I would therefore have you bear in mind, Gaius Caesar, that your verdict of to-day will bring upon the kings either pitiable ruin and deep disgrace, or deliverance and a restored reputation: to desire the former suits with the implacability of our opponents; to preserve the latter with the clemency which is yours.


1.(↑)   Phidippus, the slave-physician ; see §§ 17 seq.

2.(↑)   i.e., those sent by D. to Rome.

3.(↑)   Cf. Pro Milone, § 59, where the examination of a slave against his master is said to be "indignum et domini morte ipsa tristius."

4.(↑)   Caesar had revived the old regal prerogative by which cases had been heard in the king's house.

5.(↑)   By curtailment of his territory .

6.(↑)   C. had been saluted as Imperator by his troops in Cilicia

7.(↑)   e.g., C. Marcellus, L. Lentulus, M. Cato, and others.

8.(↑)   Caesar was besieged in A. for six months in 48 - a situation depicted by Mr. G. B. Shaw in Caesar and Cleopatra.

9.(↑)   Possibly Sextus Caesar, then governor of Syria.

10.(↑)   i.e., the prosecutors.

11.(↑)   i.e., Castor.

12.(↑)   C. addresses Phidippus.

13.(↑)   i.e., Caesar.

14.(↑)   Sarcastic grandiloquence.

15.(↑)   Antiochus, according to Livy, Epit. 57.

16.(↑)   Sarcastic.

17.(↑)   For another reference to this habit of Caesar's (where it is implied that it was by doctor's orders) see Ad Att. xiii. 59.

18.(↑)   i.e., for a chance of murdering Caesar.

19.(↑)   Q. C. Bassus, a Pompeian, incited the legions in Syria to mutiny against Sex. Caesar, and maintained himself there until after Caesar's death.

20.(↑)   And therefore incapable (ordinarily) of military service.

21.(↑)   See § 13 & note.

22.(↑)   Author unknown. After Zela Domitius had been left by Caesar in Asia, whence he sailed to join him in Africa.

23.(↑)   C. explains this word in Tusc. iii. 16 as equivalent to Greek sō:phrosunē, the government of the passions. The kingly virtues enumerated in the next sentence are carefully chosen as those which distinguished Caesar himself.

24.(↑)   D. had originally been tetrarch (i.e., ruler of one-fourth) of the Tolistoboii, a tribe of W. Galatia.

25.(↑)   When C. was proconsul there.

26.(↑)   i.e., under Pompey.

27.(↑)   Cn. D. Ahenobarbus, trib. pl. 104.

28.(↑)   Cn. D. Calvinus, in court as advocatus for Deiotarus; see §§ 14, 25.

29.(↑)   The famous jurist, consul 51.

30.(↑)   Member of the embassies sent by Deiotarus to Caesar at (1) Tarraco, (2) Rome.

31.(↑)   Fixed upon the rostra ; ironical of course.

32.(↑)   Caesar's was on the Capitol (with those of the kings); not on the rostra (with those of great generals). Note how C. evades the real point.

33.(↑)   At Magnesia, 190.

34.(↑)   In Cilicia.

35.(↑)   i.e., Deiotarus and his son.

36.(↑)   So long as they were foreign kings; cf. the words of Scipio in Livy, xxvii. 19: "regium nomen, alibi magnum, Romae intolerabile esse."

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